iOS 17, a bigger update than expected? Possibly allow installation of apps from outside the App Store

iOS 17 is due to be unveiled at WWDC in the summer, on the same stage where Apple’s virtual reality device is expected to be unveiled. While originally planned as an “intermediate” update focused on stability, it looks like Apple is pushing the next major mobile OS update towards more changes, some of which are highly anticipated by the public.

iOS 17 started as a stability update and evolved into something bigger

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says in his newsletter, Power On, that Apple’s strategy changed during development and that the new iOS 17 will get some “welcome” features, even if it won’t bring major changes like last fall’s iOS 16 update, which introduced the new lock screen customization system.

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Generally, Gurman has reliable source information and offers plenty of details, but this time he didn’t elaborate on those claims. Past rumors about iOS 17 do provide some interesting information, however. For example, for the first time in iPhone history, it might be possible to install apps from outside the App Store. This change could be related to investigations by US and EU authorities, which could force the company to allow app installation and support for more stores on the platform anyway.

Other changes could come to iMessage, one of the most important components of the operating system, and the reason many users stay in the Apple ecosystem. The new app could get a new main menu, chat rooms, videos, and AR chat features, presumably for integration with the VR device.

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Other apps that could get updates include Mail, Fitness, Wallet, Home and Find My, which could get new features, and updated interfaces, as these are some of the oldest and least updated standard apps on the iPhone. Of course, an Apple VR tethering app will also be integrated into iOS 17, just like the one for Apple Watch.

The WWDC conference, where the operating system will be unveiled, will take place on June 5. The launch of iOS 17 is expected in September, other than the new iPhone 15 models.

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